Negative staff spacer

• May 18, 2015 - 15:08
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

As requested at and

How the regular staff spacer is used: Drag either the "up" or "down" version onto a measure. It attaches to the top or bottom of the staff. Drag the free end of it, which has an arrow pointing outwards, to make a wider space above or below the staff.

How the negative staff spacer would be used: Drag either the "up" or "down" version onto a measure. It attaches to the top or bottom of the staff, stretched to fill the space between the staff it's attached to and the next one. Drag the free end of it, which has an arrow pointing inwards, to pull the next staff closer together with the one it's attached to.

Why this is needed: When you have a score with a single very tall system filling up the whole page, and at one point you need to make more space between two staves, then the system becomes too tall. What you need to be able to do is then pull a couple other staves together, so the whole thing fits.


It should be mentioned that this *particular* use case is actually better served by having a
minimum / maxiumum staff distance setting, so you can make this happen easy / quickly / reliably, rather than a trial and error process involving pitentially dozens of individual staff spacers. But still, negative spacers could be useful in other contexts.

You're saying that a maximum staff distance setting could be set lower, and thus prevent the system from getting too tall? I'm talking about simply using an individual negative staff spacer to complement an individual "positive" staff spacer.

Sorry, I wasn't clear. Yes, this could be useful in certain situations. But it's not actually a particularly good solution to the specific use case being discussed in the *second* thread you reference, where you simply want one system to have smaller staff distance *equally* throughout that system, such as to tighten the spacing on page one to account for the space taken by the title frame. In order to handle that case, you'd need potentially dozens of such spacers (for a large orchestra score), each placed individually. I guess they could be sized together via Inspector, still, why add dozens of such spacers to your score when a single style setting would solve the problem? I'm talking about a single setting you make in Style / General / Page that works just liek the current minimum system distance, thus allowing inter-staff distance to "float" depending on available space just like inter-system space does.

It's also possible this would help in the use case described in the *first* thread you link to, but I'm not sure - depends on how this all actually worked. Not sure what the effect would be if you let *both* staff and system distance float. Might be trickier to design such an option that it first appears.

Reported version 2.1 3.0

Hmm, this seems to require a file format change, the addition of a tags, so I don't think it should make it into any 2.0 branch, as at least 2.0.0 and 2.0.1 would crash on a file containing that nweq tag (2.0.2 and 2.0.3 would just ignore it)

FWIW, there is very little chance my existing PR would actually still be appropriate given the current code - the new layout system handles staff spacing very differently. The good news is, though, the *need* for this will hopefully be less as well.

My thinking is that the main reason for a negative spacer is for the case of a score in which the majoriy of systems do in fact need need extra space (due to ledger lines, dynamics, whatever). That is, scores in whichsetting distances large enough to cover this and then only adding negative spacers in the few systems that *don't* need the extra space would turn out to be less work than setting more normal distasnce but then adding spacers almost everywhere.

I know that it specifically does *not* address the particular use case you mentioend where you wish staff distance to be made consistently smaller on pages with a frame (eg, the title) in order to fit a system on a page that otherwise could not. I continue to suggest that this was *not* a good use case for negative ("absolute" is the actual term I end up using) staff spacers. It's a poor solution - requires way too much trial and error to figure out how much space is needed andf then way too much work to add them all and keep them consistent. Instead, a more direct solution that particular problem would be far better.

Would be best to discuss possible solution in a forum thread first. there are exisitng threads, but they focus on this specific feature rather than how to best actually solve the problem. I could imagine an overall "system compression" you apply via the Inspector to a specific measdure, or having min/max staff distance settings, or other possibilities, but it would require some fleshing out.

Most excellent!

The use case for fixed spacers is a bit different than regular spacers, so I'm not sure there is as much need for a fixed spacer up. Regular staff spacer up is basically to make sure the system above clears a note or marking high above a staff, and as such beats a staff spacer down because you'd have to attach the latter to some arbitrary measure on the previous system that may or may not actually always be on the previous system (as layout changes). But the use cases I know of for fixed spacers all pretty much depend on the layout already being decided upon.